Plastic storage containers are a simple, convenient way to save leftovers or pack a lunch. Unfortunately, cleaning them out later is not always as easy. If your containers are discolored and smelly, use these tips to help get them super clean in no time.
To tackle odors:
Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of warm water.
Immerse the container in the mixture if it’s small enough to fit; otherwise, pour the mixture into the container.
Let it soak for about 30 minutes, or until the odor is gone.
Rinse and dry.
Note: If the smell persists, stuff crumpled newspaper inside the container and secure the lid. Let it sit for a day or two to absorb the odor, wash the container in hot, soapy water, and wipe it dry.
To tackle stains:
Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach per 1 cup of warm water.
Pour the solution into the container, and onto the lid if necessary.
Let it soak for 30 minutes.
Wash the container in hot, soapy water.
To prevent odors and stains:
Before filling them with tomato-based foods, spray containers and lids with nonstick cooking spray to minimize stains.
Plastic containers that are not microwave-safe can degrade if they are heated, becoming more likely to stain and retain odors. So check to see whether a container is microwave-safe before nuking it.